Five of the Most Uplifting News Stories of 2013

Here's a quick recap of some of the best good news stories from 2013.

We’re almost into 2014—happy holidays and we hope the coming year is your best one ever! We’ll be updating the site more frequently in the months to come, but in the meantime, here’s a compilation of a few of our favorite positive news stories from 2013. Did we miss one of your favorites? Add it in the comments.

Batkid Saves San Francisco

Miles Scott, a 5-year-old boy in remission from leukemia, is obsessed with superheroes—so when the Make-a-Wish Foundation asked how they could help him, he said that his greatest wish was to be a superhero for a day, helping people in trouble and fighting villains. On November 15th, Foundation pulled through in a bigger way than he ever imagined, transforming the city of San Francisco into Gotham City with help from hundreds of city officials and more than 10,000 well-wishers around the city. Miles had the chance to defeat The Riddler, save a woman who’d been strapped to a bomb, and zip around town in his Batmobile. Read more or see the video.

Middle School Football Team Creates Special Play to Help Kid with Disability Score a Goal

Most middle school football teams are focused on getting the ball all the way to the goal line—but when the Olivet Middle School team from Olivet, Mich., played a game in October, coaches and the crowds alike were surprised to see the players stop short of the goal line. But they had a secret mission: They wanted to give Keith Orr, a child with learning disabilities, the chance to score his very first touchdown. His teammates carried him across the goal line, dubbing the move “the Keith play.”

Lottery Winner Donates $40 Million Winnings to Charity

What would you do if you won $40 million in the lottery? Most people would start out by splurging on a mansion or fancy car—but Canadian winner Tom Crist decided to donate the entire jackpot to charity. Crist lost his wife to lung cancer last year, and has already made his first donation (of more than $1 million) to the cancer center that treated her. This story shows what generosity is all about.

3 Women Set Free After 10 Years in Captivity

In one of the year’s most disturbing, but ultimately positive stories, three young women— Amanda Berry, Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, and Michelle Knight—along with Berry’s 7-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, were rescued from captivity after being held hostage in a Cleveland house by Ariel Castro. The three women had been kidnapped by Castro more than a decade ago from nearby neighborhoods. Thanks to a pair of neighbors who came to investigate after hearing screaming at Castro’s house, the women were finally rescued and returned to their families. Watch the women’s thank-you message for the support here.

School Bookkeeper Leads School Shooter to Turn Himself In

In August, a mentally ill 20-year-old man stormed into a suburban Atlanta elementary school with a gun—and it looked like the school was headed for a repeat of the tragic incident at Sandy Hook last year. Luckily, the gunman’s first encounter was with Antoinette Tuff, a school bookkeeper who stayed calm and talked the young man into laying down his weapons and surrendering to the police. Thanks to her brave and empathetic handling of the situation, no one was injured in the frightening incident.

We’re looking forward to even better news in the year to come. Happy 2014!